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Monday, March 9, 2009
Galaxy want Beckham to miss friendly

Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is ready to ask England boss Fabio Capello not to include David Beckham in his squad for this summer's friendly against Holland.

Arena, the former United States coach, wants Beckham to stay with the Galaxy for as long as possible when he returns from his extended loan deal at AC Milan on July 1 - and that includes missing England's August 12 friendly in Amsterdam.

''I would certainly request that David not be called in for the friendly,'' Arena told the Los Angeles Times. ''It's probably not necessary for him to be there, and at the appropriate time I will discuss this with David and get his impression as well as contact the English.''

The Galaxy and Milan finally thrashing out an agreement at the weekend for Beckham to stay on loan in Italy until May 31.

The England midfielder will therefore be available to play his first Major League Soccer game of the season for the Galaxy on July 16 at the New York Red Bulls, before making his first appearance in LA in a friendly against AC Milan three days later at the Home Depot Center.

Arena said he believed Beckham would be much better equipped to join the Galaxy midway through the MLS season than he had been when first arriving at the club in July 2007.

''This situation is considerably better than it was in 2007 for a variety of reasons,'' he said. ''One is that David is settled in LA.

''Two, he is well aware of his environment now. He knows the league, he knows the team. So I think his transition is much smoother this time around.''

Arena told the LA Times he had been in contact with Beckham since the 'timeshare' agreement with Milan had been concluded and that the 33-year-old was excited about returning to the USA.

''If David is fit and in form, there's no argument that he's an excellent player,'' Arena said. ''I just watched him play (against Atalanta) and he had another fine game.

''I know he's excited about the conclusion of all of these talks and he's going to have the opportunity finish up with Milan and then come back and hopefully complete some unfinished business in MLS.

''I actually had contact with David today,'' he added. ''We emailed each other. He's pretty pleased he's coming back. He is happy he's coming back. He wants to be in LA. He wants to take on this challenge.

''Despite public statements that have been made over the past couple of months, I think we're getting back a player that will want to be here and is motivated to do well. I want to make that clear.

''If it was the other way around, that this player had no interest in being here, we would not have done this. I can guarantee that. I'm very optimistic that David's addition to our team in July is going to be a positive.''




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